Over the course of twenty-six posts, I will introduce my own simple lessons for the letters of the alphabet. I will provide ideas and suggestions for a week's worth of activities.
For the letter G, we focused upon Giraffes.
Giraffes have always been one of my favorite animals. I fortunate enough that my mom worked at the zoo when I was growing up and then I worked at the same zoo for a number of years in the Education department. This allowed me the opportunity to see the zoo's three giraffes up close and personal over the years.
- from Africa south of the Sahara Desert
- reach 12-20 feet in height
- males weigh from 1500-2000 pounds
- newborn giraffe weighs 200 pounds!
- hooves have two toes
- lifespan of about 25 years
- their tongues are about 20 inches long - letting them wrap their tongue around a branch and strip the leaves off it
One of the interesting facts about giraffes and walking is that they do not alternate their feet when walking. They lift both feet on the left side at the same time, then their feet on the right side. If they were to alternate like humans, they would trip over their own legs.
How many bones do you think a giraffe has in its neck? They have the same number as humans! We both have 7 bones in our necks. While a human's neck bone (vertebrae) is only one inch long, a giraffe's bone is more than 10 inches long.
Coloring.WS from DLTK's Giraffe Coloring Pages
Super Coloring's Giraffe coloring pages
Crafts: Construction Paper Giraffe
Featured Shape - Measuring Time!
Ovals make for a great shape to focus upon with the letter G because we used lots of ovals in creating our giraffes and you can also talk about grapes which are oval-like in shape.
Giraffes also provide the perfect opportunity to use a ruler or tape measure.
Go to the sidewalk with chalk and a measuring tape. Ask your child to lay down so you can mark how tall they are on the ground. After you measure that, write the number down on the sidewalk. Then measure out 12 to 20 feet to see how tall a giraffe is next to the marks of your children. What a difference there is!
Drinking like a Giraffe
Because their legs are so long, they can't just lower their head to drink. Pretend you are giraffes and while on all fours, stretch out your arms (to represent the giraffe's front legs) so you can bend your head to the floor.
Grapes make a perfect snack for the letter G as well as a perfect time to practice knife cutting skills for your child. Using a dull knife, under adult-supervision, they can practice cutting the grapes lengthwise to help prevent choking hazard.
You can even create this cute lowercase letter 'g' craft – From ABCs to ACTs – which focuses upon grapes.
Goats are also one of my favorite animals! I had the opportunity to help take care of goats and sheep during one autumn at the zoo where I worked in 2003. It was such a great experience – I learned so much about them and myself.
There are over 210 breeds. The goats one typically sees at a zoo include:
- Boer Goat
- Nigerian Dwarf Pygmy Goat
- Nigerian Goat
- Pygmy Goat
If you live near a zoo, farm, or petting zoo/farm, why not visit the goats? Then you can read up on them when you get home.
|Create your own paper bag goat puppet!|
Gardens and Gardening
Forging Foundations offers some great ideas through her Bringing Spring into Your Homeschool series.
After learning about gorillas, maybe enjoy a gorilla meal – serve some fruit and maybe even some insects! (You can buy freeze dried insects from a variety of places.)
Cute gorilla printable – learn create love – you can use watercolors like they did or another technique to create your own look.
Gorilla facts on World Wildlife Fund - your family can even 'adopt' a gorilla and receive a plush gorilla to represent your new friend.
Information is also available via the Smithsonian National Zoo's Western lowland gorilla page.
Giraffe from San Diego Zoo
Giraffe from the Philadelphia Zoo